The Cedarville Review 2024

THE CEDARVILLE REVIEW 31 droned on about the rumors here of ghosts. Poor Mary White, for instance. Her abductor kept her here, somewhere in this winding maze. She fought hard. She cried out for rescue. She screamed until no sound could escape her lips. And then, her heart gave out. Her spirit seeped into eternity. Just like that, there’d been a fall. The air was so heavy you could barely breathe. Like smoke, it squeezed the breath from your lungs. You coughed. The walls coughed back at you. You jumped. Your hand fl ew up to your chest. You closed your eyes and exhaled. The echo faded. The tour pressed forward. You forced yourself to take a step. One step and then another. You hung back, setting a solid ten feet between the rest of the group and yourself. The fl ashlight fl ickered as human footsteps ticked. You became like a clock, twitching forward without an aim in the world. Perhaps you would just keep walking all night long. Perhaps night would fade to dawn, dawn to day, day to evening, and you would have no idea—wandering in this bunker of eternal dusk. There’s a part of you that longed for answers. Where were you going? Was there a reason the ghost tour went down into this cavernous system of basements? Were you headed towards some sort of epicenter? But then there was the rest of you that didn’t want to know anything. The mere echo of a destination in this chasm was enough to make you tremble. You’d rather be cursed to wander. The guide launched into another ghost story. All at once, you jump. Your heart leaps. You shake yourself back into the mall.